Barnacles, finally! It has been on my wish-list for years. Since Jan 2013, the seaside restaurant has launched a lunch buffet, Sunday Garden Party by the Sea (12pm-3pm), $138++ for adults, and a child under 12 dines free with a paying adult; or $38++ for additional child. In addition, the pool at the resort is open to diners till 6pm and parking is complimentary.
The kids were so adorable, following the clown everywhere he went before the show.
Magic show and balloon sculpturing
The food was by no means extensive but it was quality over quantity. Almost every dish we tried was delightful, one of the best buffets we had.
Amuse-bouche, Salads and Seafood
The salads had rather exquisite ingredients such as feta cheese and stewed onions, not easily found in other buffets. The amuse-bouches were excellent, bite-size on a soup spoon, including foie gras and parma ham with melon. A ham wrap was a favorite, soft and smooth.
12 types of gourmet cheeses imported from France
But doubtlessly, the seafood tower, with lobsters, Alaskan king crab legs, prawns and oysters freshly shucked on the spot were the highlights. They were airflown from the French coast. We did, however, find the oysters too salty. Chiobu suggested that this section would have been great if sashimi was included.
Nuggets, french fries, hotdogs and waffles.
Clams with vegetables
Not much of selection, only 6-8 types of hot food. But they are cooked in small batches so that the food is constantly replenished and always fresh. Elegant and superb, each dish was as good as any fine-dining mains. The bee hoon was a favorite among us: just a touch of sweetness, it was perfect, not too wet, not too dry, springy without being rubbery. Very superior.
The sea perch (pictured above) was simply amazing. I think they steamed the fish first then seared or flambeed the skin. As a result, the meat was so moist and tender, with a milkiness that was reminiscent of very expensive cod fish.
Another spectacular station with roasted chicken, pork and steak. My least favorite was the steak: thought it was stringy but cooked competently to a medium-rare. Although many claimed that the pork was excellent, my favorite was the roasted chicken. Even the chicken breast was tender and moist. Doused in their creamy mushroom sauce with a hint of truffle, the flavors were fantastic.
Beef and chicken
The grilled station was also spectacular, with a selection of lamb chops, chicken, beef, and prawns. Depending on the type of meat you prefer, everything could be king. They all had this smokey flavor and were charred at the edges but moist and tender within. The chicken skin–nonpareil. Days after eating this buffet, I dreamed of these grilled meats. I want them so badly.
Chinese New Year period: we had nian gao, a sweet sticky glutinous rice that is deep-fried. In this instance, the nian gao was done in a Malaysian style with vegetables. I know, it’s nian gao, how good can it get? But it was the ne plus ultra of nian-gaos. So perfect in its universe: warm but not scalding, fried but not oily. And it was accompanied by a refreshing shooter, watermelon in sprite, just to clear the palate. Other seasonal food include desserts such as green bean cookies, pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit, kueh ros, etc.
Most of the desserts were passable. The ones that stood out were the chocolate pudding, a version of bread pudding with intense dark chocolate with a complementary vanilla sauce; pavlova, a not-overly-cloy version balanced well with sourish fruits full of antioxidants; and mango sago, with a rather sweet base–may be overly sweet for some–counterpoised with bitter pomelo and sourish mango.
I’ve finally eaten at Barnacles after longing for so long! Like the first kiss, most things that we have waited for a long time in life usually end up disappointing–but not Barnacles. Barnacles was spectacular. As modish restaurants mushroom in our city, we tend to forget the stalwart ones, the ones that serve wholesome food without pretension and fancy. But it wasn’t only the food, it was also the relaxing ambience and the wonderful amenities that endeared the restaurant to us. Compliments to the chef supervising the operations. Excellent job!
Barnacles Restaurant Sentosa Singapore
101 Siloso Road
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort
Sentosa, Singapore 098970
T: 6371 1974
Sunday Garden Party: 12-3pm Sunday
Rating: 3.638/5 stars
PS: Thanks for hosting us on a Sunday, Zen and Ching. Much appreciated!